Over a century ago, New York City's iconic Lord & Taylor building opened its doors. It has always been a monument to traditional, old-school retail. The building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan was even declared a city landmark a decade ago. But on Tuesday, Hudson's Bay — the company that owns the department store chain — announced that it would be selling the building to seven-year-old start up WeWork. This sale is indicative of changes in an evolving economy.
WeWork's office-sharing model is helping to re-invent the concept of work space. Small and mid-size businesses can rent office space at a WeWork location. The company also aims to humanize work. They believe CEOs can learn from each other and that offices should have all the comforts of home. Hudson Bay's plan to sell the space to WeWork for $850 million reveals the economic value of co-working space over traditional brick-and-mortar retail space.
There are plenty of stories blaming millennials for the downfall of department stores and many other things. But millennials aren't making economic choices based on the intention of sinking long-established businesses. The failures of traditional department stores only demonstrates their lack of flexibility. These aging industries have not adjusted to the new culture millennials are bringing to the economy.
In the short term, these changes can seem negative and harmful. The effects can be widespread, resulting in thousands of lost jobs. But in the long term, these changes are natural and expected. There were major shifts during the Industrial Revolution or during the Dotcom boom of the '90s. And now, we are in the midst of a digital revolution of sorts. As a result, the culture is changing once again.
Millennials have different values from the generations that came before them. They have grown up with computers and mobile technology so they are used to convenience and ease of use. Traditional department stores are built to encourage as much purchasing as possible. Unlike generations before them, millennials often value experiences over items. When they need something, it makes more sense to buy it quickly online rather than sit through the sales pitch of a clerk. However, millennials are spending more than previous generations on activities like dining out and movies.
Another way to win over millennials is with lowering friction at check out. Starbucks is winning over customers with their customer loyalty app that makes paying as easy as waving a phone. The more stores support Apple and Samsung pay, the more millennials will want to shop there.
Soon, millennials will have more buying power than any other generation group. If businesses want to survive, they need to adjust to their desires. Millennials want customer experiences tailored to their preferences. Personalized experiences make them feel valued and wanted. They frown on general catch-all phrases and spiel. Showing attention in-store or through social media will create loyalty in millennials. Businesses should leverage their customer data to achieve the perfect personalized experience for these up and coming customers.
It's easy to forget that the presidency of the United States is a government job just like any other–in that it comes with a stipulated salary and benefits.
But regardless of their bombastic rhetoric or self-serious public image, politicians are like all other government employees. The president, vice president, and legislators earn an annual income from the government in exchange for their duties, which include: executing/circumventing the law, upholding/withholding the civil liberties of American citizens, and legislating/sabotaging how societal institutions meet the needs of citizens, from healthcare to education.
If you've ever wondered what American politicians earn for all their hard work arguing across the aisle and starting Twitter feuds, look no further:
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Maybe you've had a high stress occupation before, like social work or stock trading, and fell victim to the high burnout rate of these kinds of jobs.
Or maybe you're just starting your career, and looking for something that won't take over your life but will still provide you with a good living. Whatever reason you have for looking for a high paying, low-stress job, you've come to the right place. We've compiled a list of the top 5 jobs that promise a solid paycheck without taking too much out of you.
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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.
When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.
Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.
Federally backed mortgages include:
- Fannie Mae
- Freddie Mac
- The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
- The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
- The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.
Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.
Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.
Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.
At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.
Possible Repayment Options:
You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.
Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.
Regular payment: $1000 per month
Reduced payment: $500 per month
Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)
Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.
Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.
The Next Steps:
Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.
Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:
- What fees are associated with the forbearance?
- What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
- Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?
If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.
For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.